Figueres, a town in the north of Catalonia, has the advantage of being located not far from the French border. Famous for having seen the birth of the great artist Salvador Dalí, several places in the town refer to the man. But apart from the Dalí Theatre-Museum, an astonishing monument that is also the emblem of the city, Figueres is also a place where it is good to stroll to contemplate the rest of its rich heritage, indulge in a few shopping sessions and join its cafés and restaurants to try the local gastronomy. The capital of the Alt Empordà has everything you need to have a great time with family and friends
Discovering Figueres' beautiful heritage and its museums
One of the first things to do when you arrive in Figueres is to walk through its historic centre to admire its beautiful heritage. You can start by going to the square where the Gothic-style church of Sant Pere is located, before stopping at another must-see square, that of Gala-Salvador Dalí. If this place is coveted by all visitors, it is because it contains the unmissable Dalí Theatre-Museum. A dreamlike monument, "the greatest surrealist work" as the artist said, with a red façade crowned with enormous eggs, it immediately catches the eye and arouses all curiosity. Still in connection with Dalí, Monturiol Street is home to the Casa Puig, designed by Josep Azemar in an eclectic style. It is none other than the house in which the man was born. It is scheduled to open to the public as a museum in 2023. The Casa Roger, located in Plaça de la Palmera, a modernist house where Dalí created his first paintings as a teenager, is also worth seeing. As you stroll through the city centre, which is very easy to get around on foot, be sure to keep your eyes open at all times to see that the city is a sumptuous mixture of medieval, neoclassical and Art Nouveau styles.
Only 800 metres from the Dalí Theatre-Museum is another of Figueres' jewels: the Castle of San Fernando. This incredibly well-preserved military fortress, which dates back to the 18th century, is of colossal dimensions. It is the largest building in Catalonia and one of the most imposing military fortresses in Europe. Its stables could accommodate more than 450 horses!
As far as museums are concerned, visitors can spend time at the Dalí Theatre-Museum, where they can see many of the genius's works, from his early days to the end of his life. But there are other places to visit to vary the pleasures, such as the Toy Museum of Catalonia, which delights children, and the Museum of the Empordà, which houses a vast collection of works from the Catalan art scene.
To discover the heritage of Figueres and better understand the links between Dalí and his city, the Tourist Office offers a number of cultural routes and guided tours every week. The Dalí itinerary for adults and the one for children, as well as the heritage route in the historic centre, are recommended for those who are curious and want to learn more about the history of this fascinating city. Also not to be missed are the wine and food routes, where you can taste local products from the sea and the mountains in various restaurants in the city, accompanied by DO Empordà wines served by a renowned sommelier in the region. The routes are also offered in French in July and August. The timetable can be consulted via this link. Finally, the church of Sant Pere also opens its doors to the public for an ascent to its bell tower.
Shopping, gastronomy and festivities for a pleasant stay
Figueres is a city where you can enjoy the simple pleasures of life. So you can also take the time to stroll around El Rovell de l'Ou, to the open-air shopping centre, where there are shops selling food, textiles, clothing and home decoration. There are also shops around the Rambla, as well as bars and restaurants. In fact, if you want to take a gastronomic break, you should know that the offer is very attractive, with good restaurants that offer traditional recipes from the Alt Empordà on their menus. With the Km 0, the restaurants offer quality cuisine, made with seasonal products. Fruit, vegetables, products from the sea and the nearby mountains, all of which are enhanced by the presence of essential ingredients such as onions and olive oil from the Empordà. The dishes are also accompanied by a good glass of one of the DO Empordà wines. Red wines, white wines, sweet wines, Garnatxa de l'Empordà and Moscatell de l'Empordà, the range is wide and the pleasures varied.
And there is no shortage of opportunities to take part in the highlights of Figueres' cultural season. Music takes centre stage in summer, with the Jazz Festival and the Les Nits d'Acústica Festival. In July, dance lovers enjoy seeing the city transformed into a giant stage for the Figueres Es Mou festival of dance and movement. The festivities also continue in September with the two events of the Còmic comedy festival and La mostra del Vi de l'Empordà, which celebrates the wines of the Empordà and gastronomic products. Tastings and a multitude of events are on the programme.